Maintaining a champion’s image

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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It was great to catch up with Colm and Breeda McLoughlin and several of the Dubai Duty Free management and staff at yesterday’s annual Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup race meeting at Ascot racecourse just outside London.

The event is the only team competition in horse racing, featuring four teams of three jockeys representing Ireland, the UK, Europe and the Rest of the World.

Dubai Duty Free, in line with its commitment to horse racing, is in its fifth year of sponsorship, including the final race, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint.

The day is considered one of the sport’s most innovative concepts – very much in line with Dubai Duty Free’s reputation as a pioneer and innovator in travel retail.

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Addressing guests in the Dubai Duty Free corporate box over lunch, Managing Director Colm McLoughlin underlined the company’s belief in the Shergar Cup concept and took the opportunity to reflect on Dubai Duty Free’s emergence as the world’s most successful duty free operation.

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For those readers not familiar with horse racing, the original Shergar was an acclaimed champion, and winner of the 1981 Epsom Derby by a record 10 lengths, the longest winning margin in the race’s 226-year history. He was named European Horse of the Year in 1981 and was retired from racing that September.

In February 1983 he was stolen from the Ballymany Stud in Ireland by masked gunmen and was never seen again.

His disappearance remains one of the mysteries of our time [and also gave rise to one of the worst Irish jokes of our time, which suggested that Shergar’s owners received a mystery parcel containing the front leg of a horse. “This leg belongs to Shergar; pay us the ransom or he’ll never race again…”].

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[World’s No 1: The sign behind Jill McGuire, left, and Breeda McLoughlin, two of the loveliest women in our industry, says it all]

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